posts

in late november…

…I wanted to leave a note here, and you must forgive me if it is mostly cut & pasted from the newsletter I sent out a few days ago. This is always a pressing time for me, when the orders for Christmas and planners and calendars for next year flow in and my energy wanes with Autumn’s own waning, and Winter’s nearness.

This post, I won’t promise to be here more regularly. I’ve done that so often over the past year or two, but I am acknowledging now that my rosehip journey seems to be deeply about simplicity…about finding more of the ever elusive balance between work and all of the lovely and meaningful ingredients of the rest of life which keep getting pushed until “later” in my days. And tho’ it still feels rather curious to me…I feel quieter and quieter in the public sphere and feel most at home at Wisteria & Sunshine, so that is where I share myself the most.

And yet, this is a dear place, too…so please accept this gift of photographs and late November news and thoughts and I hope to be here again sometime soon…

Hello, hello… It’s been another two months since I last wrote, so I’ve tried to share some of the season’s changes with you in photos, tho’ none yet of the almost bare trees. We are truly (and finally!) stepping into wintertime. The furnace hums, we are sprucing up the woodstove to begin our firelit days, and when we gather the last green tomatoes and peppers from the garden today, our season of more rest and quiet will begin. Rest is always on my mind these days…we need it so deeply after the year we’ve all been through. It brought to mind some lines from a Longfellow poem I’ve known for many, many years…

Stay, stay at home my heart, and rest, Home-keeping hearts are happiest

But I had the thought to look up the rest of the poem and discovered this…

For those that wander, they know not where,

Are full of trouble and full of care;

To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,

They wander east, they wander west,

And are baffled and beaten and blown about

By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;

To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;

The bird is safest in its nest;

O’er all that flutter their wings and fly

A hawk is hovering in the sky;

To stay at home is best.

This really struck me, I think especially so because I read it the day after I attended an outdoor gig of Doug’s and found it very uncomfortable, confusing and exhausting. It was the first time I’d gone out for anything other than grocery shopping, the library and checking in our folks since July. And it will be the last. I am always a home-keeping bird, but so much seems to be conspiring to give us all the message…for the winter, at least.
Tho’ even as I write this, and hear the news in the background, I know that staying home and resting isn’t possible for all. But for all who can, winter and wisdom are encouraging us…and knowing that by doing so we are helping those who can’t, goes a long way to making it more bearable. My heart goes out to all of those caring for the sick and frail, in homes and hospitals and elsewhere. I sometimes picture how much more difficult these times would be if I was still caring for my mom.
Of course, I have hopes for making staying-at-home much more than “bearable.” I spent found hours in October simplifying all that I could, and will spend those I can find in the rest of November doing the same. I’ve been slowly stocking up over the Autumn so trips to town will be less necessary over the Winter. And my December plans include spending as much time as I can on the sofa, candles lit, working on small projects, gift-making, mending and reading and watching sweet things.
Rest.

 

 

Part of my plan for restfulness is to close my shop earlier rather than later. It is filled to the brim at the moment, and letting you know is one of the reasons I am putting fingers to keyboard. The 2021 (with December starts!) Daybook line is there, many lovely printables and calendars, this year’s Christmas cards…and more. Plenty for gift-giving. I welcome you to take a wander through. And if you’d like to order, please do so before November’s end. I’ll fill all of the orders that come in by Nov. 30th, but not after…unless I reopen for a bit after Christmas, for any last-minute New Year calendar and planner needs. But wouldn’t it be restful to make life much less last-minute?
If, like me, you would like to look forward to a more peaceful December, I have some happy news. I am going to be offering my Lantern on the Path email Advent calendar this year! Daily emails, small and not-so-small, rich with warm photos and cosy illustrations, December writings from me and favorite women from the past, gentle encouragement to keep our days quieter…more earth-thoughtful…glowing missives to shine a light that I hope will help keep us on a path of comfort and simplicity. Delivered to your inbox.
To keep it simple, I am not creating a separate offering this year. You need only become a member of Wisteria & Sunshine (for as long as you like, cancel at any time) to receive the Advent emails. Our Advent journey begins on the first.
 Stay warm & safe,

 

xo

Lesley

P.S. Excuse the wonkiness of the layout of this post! I’ve spent far too long trying to fix it, with little success. : )


a blogging renaissance & august gifts

These days
Lifting myself up
Like a heavy weight,
Old camel getting to her knees,
I think of my mother
And the inexhaustible flame
That kept her alive
Until she died.

She knew all about fatigue
And how one pushes it aside
For staking up the lilies
Early in the morning,
The way one pushes it aside
For a friend in need,
For a hungry cat.

Mother, be with me.
Today on your birthday
I am older than you were
When you died
Thirty-five years ago.
Thinking of you
The old camel gets to her knees,
Stands up,
Moves forward slowly
Into the new day.

If you taught me one thing
It was never to fail life.”

-May  Sarton

 

Hmmm…I went looking for a May Sarton something to share, something with a nod to August…the waning summer…but I found this, instead. And it suits, if only because I know this feeling so well, especially in these August days when this recent mono relapse ebbs and flows, according to its whim. Of course, I don’t see myself as an “old camel” just yet, even when the heaviness descends, but it does feelingly describe the effort needed sometimes.

No lily-staking for me, tho’ early this morning I did manage to find and toss to the hens the pickling cucumbers that grew to enormous size while I was otherwise occupied…and the summer squash. And I was able to fill my shop with lovely, textury, tree-free School Year notebooks and calendars and planners. And a sweet, restful, wonder-filled visit from a dear old friend was delighted in.

I don’t think often in terms of failure, but as I get older, “to never fail life” seems a very good aim. In the little ways of lilies and friends in need and hungry cats, if not in larger ways. But also in not failing ourselves…our gifts…our dreams. It’s so easy to be distracted and diverted. I am trying to stay focused on clearing the quieter path I keep mentioning, yet my steps have really slowed this month…as they do sometimes. Your responses help me to keep me going, tho’, keep me getting to my knees again and again, keep me finding peaceful ways. It’s so important not to feel alone. Let’s keep talking about it all!

And so, to our Blogging  Renaissance

I’d like to share with you what has made blog-reading a pleasure again for me…after I gave up bloglovin’ years ago because it was so commercial and materialistic…and then didn’t even give any of the feed-readers a chance because they are overwhelming and ugly…and found visiting through bookmarks tedious. The idea isn’t mine, tho’ I can’t remember where I came across it (please let me know if you are reading!) but it is so elegantly simple…

:: CREATE A ONE-PAGE BLOG FOR FOLLOWING BLOGS ::

This is mine, at Blogger, because they have the “blog list gadget” that keeps the newest posts at the top and I can easily see if there is something new to read…if someone is ‘at home’ to visit. It wasn’t made for anyone’s eyes except my own, but I am quite glad to share it, and hope that in the near future, there will be more such pages to explore and wander amongst. This one was made three and a half years ago, tho’ I updated the photo (from my Rosehip Ceremony-xo tonia) because it beautifully evokes what blog-reading can be…an intentional visit with a gathering of kindred spirits.

When I logged into Blogger, for the first time in a long while, I was reminded that Google now owns it, so I will soon be finding out whether a wordpress.com blog has a blog-following widget. If so, as part of my disengaging from the matrix, I will move my little blog-following page elsewhere. And I’d like to find more blogs to add to my list (tho’ not too many.) And get better about leaving comments.

Tho’ it’s taken almost a year to bring into being this new rhythm of being online, it’s beginning to settle in. I’ve posted three times in the past six weeks (almost fortnightly-my aim) and look forward to seeing how this rhythm, this practice, will deepen and unfurl. As well, I look forward now to the half hour on the porch, once or twice a week when I sit down with my laptop and go a’ wandering. Instagram is still in my life, but it’s lost its luster and feels like more of a tool than a distraction now.

I’d like to keep the Blogging Renaissance conversation going for awhile…see if we can really breathe some life into it. So there will be another chapter soon, and some Monarch chrysalises, no doubt, and garlic chive blossoms and some of the other-myriad-ways we keep our own “inexhaustable” flames aglow.